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Exhibition: Megan Bishop   English  Nederlands

Hard Water

Zeger Reyers

1000 plates, soil and multiple grasses. Interested? You can see this remarkable work of living art growing down the exterior wall of Mediamatic over the next four years.

  • Hard Water by Zeger Reyers - 

    Installation made of 1000 plates, soil and multiple grasses. Shown is the second floor of the Mediamatic Biotoop with the artwork slipping down through the roof of the glass house into the restaurant.

Hard Water

In an ultimate combination of man and nature (or perhaps man versus nature), Zeger Reyers has created an enormous living art installation that climbs down from the exterior second floor level of the Mediamatic Biotoop building in Dijkspark into the Mediamatic Restaurant. Hard Water was constructed using over 1000 ceramic plates, soil and different species of grass, including Gaura and Crocosmia. These grasses are long and thin, and produce bright-coloured flowers at the tips in the Summer months. Additionally, bulbs have been planted throughout the soil in the installation and so will also make an appearance and flourish as time passes. The half-inside, half-outside; half-organic, half-man-made structure is naturally nourished by rain water.

The immense piece, designed and specially installed on location in our restaurant greenhouse, explores the tension between nature and man-made objects by confronting the artificial with biological processes. As such, the work is growing and evolving every single day with the artificial manipulating the natural and the natural equally manipulating the artificial. This changing appearance can be witnessed over the next four years, and so several visits are encouraged to grasp the full live art concept of Hard Water.

Close up of Hard Water

Close up of Hard Water

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Close view of Zeger Reyers' Hard Water made of 1000 plates, soil, and grasses. Here the grasses are flowering a bright orange colour - something that can be seen in the summer months as the installation changes with time.

About the Artist

Zeger Reyers believes that humans have become secondary to their own manipulated environments and as such, there is now not a single cell left traversing its ‘natural' course. As such, Reyers has become one of the Hague’s most remarkable installation artists with a strong fascination for biological processes such as eating, growing, and dying. Using this fascination and all sorts of living materials, Reyers aims to show typical processes in non-typical situations, by confronting the artificial with the natural. In this way, Reyers' installations provoke a new way of observing natural processes, as well as the uncontrollable nature of biology.

It should be noted that Reyers does not aim to pass moral judgement on the influence of man on the environment. Rather, his intention is to amplify the wonders and strength of nature, whilst at the same time highlighting the vulnerability of the man-made and artificial that has become our ‘nature.’ Whilst there are always many levels of interpretations of his work, Reyers always aims to disturb our sense of comfort.

Mediamatic by boat

Mediamatic by boat

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If you take a boat ride along the canal next to Mediamatic, you can see the living installation climbing down the external wall and into the Mediamatic Restaurant greenhouse.

Hermigervill playing his music

Hermigervill playing his music

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Festisvall Fünf celebrates it's fifth edition with a music and art extravaganza. An evening event at Mediamatic, with Zeger Reyers' Hard Water on proud display in the background.

Zeger Reyers building his Hard Water installation

Zeger Reyers building his Hard Water installation

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Much scaffolding was used to create the large structure of 1000 plates, soil, and grasses. Here, Reyers can be seen amongst the action, creating his work.

Past Works

Zeger Reyers often designs his installations to fit a specific location or event. One such example is his work ‘Mussel Chair’ (Mosselstoel, 2000). For this piece, a chair was submerged in the Oosterschelde for two years to be overrun by mussels. When the chair was eventually removed from the water, it was placed inside a specially designed steamer, in order for the mussles to be prepared for dinner.

Another of Reyers’ location-specific works is 'Drum Kit' (2004). One hundred empty oil drums were tied together and floated on the sea. The tangled mass produced muffled sounds as the drums were used as an instrument by the waves, whilst simultaneously demonstrating the enormous power of the water. By the end of the seven week installation, the drums had been dented and rusted beyond recognition.

Zeger Reyers 'Mussel Chair' // Mosselstoel

Zeger Reyers 'Mussel Chair' // Mosselstoel

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A chair was sunk in the Oosterschelde in order for mussels to grow on it. This is the chair after having been removed from the water after 2 years of submersion.

'Rotating Kitchen' is another famous work by Reyers that was especially commissioned for the 2009 Dusseldorf Kunsthalle exhibition ‘Eating the Universe.’ The kitchen appeared first as a normal, life-sized, fully-equipped room in which a chef prepared a meal. However, after the chef left the kitchen, the room rotated, tipping up all of the pots, pans and the freshly prepared food(!).

In 2011 Reyers created the installation ‘Pavillion' in the Middelheim Museum’s Renaat Braempavillion. Reyers built a sloping floor inside the pavilion, which was then covered with black earth containing spores of mushrooms. As the installation progressed, so too did the growth of the mushrooms. Visit Zeger Reyers’ Website.

Zeger Reyers Rotating Kitchen

Zeger Reyers Rotating Kitchen

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The life-sized kitchen appeared as normal while a chef prepared a meal. However, once the chef left the room, it rotated, causing all the pots and pans, and even the freshly prepared food to topple over.

Zeger Reyers at Mediamatic

Zeger Reyers is currently a Mediamatic Fellow. This means that he will be a regular face at our public lectures, so far having given talks on his work with fungi, organisms in beer and ancient distilling methods. In addition to this, Reyers will be available once a month for one-to-one discussions with other bio- or bio-curious artists, at all levels, about creating installations and working with organic matter. See our events calendar.

Exchanging ideas with Zeger Reyers

Exchanging ideas with Zeger Reyers

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Discussing artistic ideas with Zeger Reyers in the Mediamatic Biotoop greenhouse.

This piece is made possible by: Mondriaan Fonds